Colorado Enacts New Teacher Reforms

Colorado may be the new national leader when it comes to changing the way we employ teachers. The Denver Post offers the following summary of a bill that is heading to the desk of Gov. Bill Ritter, a Democrat:

New teachers will earn nonprobationary status after three positive annual evaluations, half of which will be calculated by their student’s academic growth.

Veteran teachers could lose nonprobationary status after two consecutive “ineffective” evaluations.

Veteran teachers displaced from jobs will be allowed two years to find a position before they are taken off the payroll. Teachers and schools must approve of their placement under a “mutual consent” system.

A two-year grace period? That’s generous, to say the least, but fact that teachers deemed “ineffective” could be removed is (unfortunately) revolutionary. In addition, teachers who receive an “ineffective” rating can appeal the decision to binding arbitration.

Representatives from both The New Teacher Project and the National Council on Teacher Quality give the measure high praise.

The legislative web site is not user-friendly; I had to download a version of the bill in WordPerfect (who uses WordPerfect anymore?), and can’t find an easy way to upload it to this site. I think you can download a copy in PDF.

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